Contributor's Opinion

Opinion: Improving employment and employability in South Sudan

By Jackie Edwards

South Sudanese gathering at Dr. John Garang de’Mabior Mausoleum (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

January 9th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The desire for employment and for capable employees is great in South Sudan. Technical skills are in especially high demand, and in 2015 South Sudan announced their South Sudan Employment Initiative, intended to help increase and improve their peacetime workforce’s skill sets. To that end, the biggest issues facing employers in South Sudan are education and mobility, as the ability of those with adequate skill sets to get to potential employer locations is limited.

Mobility Increases Employment

Available jobs are increasing across the Middle East, and that includes South Sudan. The political climate, a lack of available teaching curriculums, and a lack of the ability to deliver available workforces to potential jobs are inhibiting employment in South Sudan though.

For those seeking employment, having a method of transport available can raise your odds of employment, whether it’s a car, a bike, or any manual form of transportation. On the flip side, an improvement to local roads and trails could benefit employment in the region.

Technical Education is More in Demand than  Scholarly Education

As for education, vocational and high-level jobs are currently lacking in sufficient employees. In 2015 the South Sudan Employment Initiative began, which intends to increase curriculum and higher education availabilities across the country. But right now technical skills are the most in demand, so receiving even a moderate education in vocational skills can massively improve your chance of employment. Lack of education is the largest barrier to entry into the workforce.

Try Practical Incentives Instead of Monetary ones

If you’re looking to improve the training of potential employees or the quality of your business, consider including carpooling or incentive plans. The biggest trait emphasized by the SSEI is that employees currently desire employment opportunities that teach vocational skills or have benefits that can carry over to other jobs. Even small or practical benefits like this can massively improve the desirability of a job, and increase the chances you find the right employee for the role.

What This Means

South Sudan faces many challenges when improving employment, and the desire to be employed in the area. An improvement to infrastructure or general mobility for the population can benefit the workforce. Offering basic, technical skills as an incentive can also make a job more desirable. On the other hand, right now it is those with technical or vocational skills who are most likely to be employed, and who may benefit businesses in South Sudan communities.

The author, Jackie, can be reached through her email at jackie@ursamail.com

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